Maternal body mass index in outcome of pregnancy

G. Sharmila, M. Sudha


Background: The increasing prevalence of obesity in young women is a major public health concern. These trends have a major impact on pregnancy outcomes in these women, which have been documented by several researchers. The objective of this study was to assess antenatal, intra-partum complications, perinatal outcome in pregnant women with high BMI.

Methods: A total number of 100 cases were included in the study out of which, 50 cases were pregnant women with high BMI (> or = 30 kg/m2), 50 were pregnant women with normal BMI (20-24 kg/m2). Their pregnancy outcome were observed and compared. The outcome variables evaluated in study were rates of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery, failed induction, operative vaginal deliveries, birth weight, and postpartum infection.

Results: Most of the patients that is, 60% of obese group and 68% of control group were between 20-25years, 28% of obese group and 8% of control group were between 31-35years. In our study most of the patients, 66% of obese group and 56% of control group were primiparas, whereas 34% of obese and 44% of normal group were multipara. There is a fourfold increase in the incidence of pre-eclampsia in the obese group compared to normal BMI group. Incidence of gestational diabetes is 2% in normal group compared to 8% in obese group that is fourfold increase in incidence in obese group. Pre-term labor is 8% among obese and 2% among control groups, a significant increase. Incidence of induction of labor is doubled in obese group, incidence being 20% in control group and 40% in obese group. Incidence of instrumental delivery is 14% in obese group and 6% in control group. 32% of obese group underwent cesarean section when compared to 12% of control group. The incidence of cesarean section is 3times higher in obese group. Macrosomia is the most common complication observed in the study, the incidence being 22% in obese group and 2% in control group. There is increase in incidence by eleven fold. Incidence of low APGAR score is increased by twofold.

Conclusions: Maternal BMI shows strong associations with pregnancy complications and outcome. Both maternal and fetal complications are increased.


BMI, Obese, Maternal, Fetal complications

Full Text:



Kopelman PG. Causes and consequences of obesity. Med Int. 1994;22:385-8.

James WP. WHO recognition of the global obesity epidemic. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008;32(Suppl 7):S120-6.

Haslam DW, James WP. Obesity. Lancet. 2005;366:1197-209.

Kopelman PG. Obesity as a medical problem. NATURE. 2006;404.

Lew EA. Mortality and weight: insured lives and the American cancer study. Annals of Intern Med. 1985;103:1024-9.

Vahratian A, Siega-Riz AM, Savitz DA, Zhang J. Maternal pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity and the risk of cesarean delivery in nulliparous women. Ann Epidemiol. 2005;15:467-747.

Cedergren MI. Maternal morbid obesity and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2004;103:219-24.

Bhattacharya S, Campbell DM, Liston WA, Bhattacharya S. Effect of body mass index on pregnancy outcomes in nulliparous women delivering singleton babies. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:168.

Joy S, Istwan N, Rhea D, Desch C, Stanziano G. The impact of maternal obesity on the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in high-risk term pregnancies. Am J Perinatol. 2009;26:345-9.

Gordon CS. Smith. Maternal obesity in early pregnancy and risk of spontaneous and elective preterm deliveries: a retrospective cohort study. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(1):157-62.

Bhattacharya S, Campbell DM, Liston WA, Bhattacharya S. Effect of body mass index on pregnancy outcomes in nulliparous women delivering singleton babies. BMC Public Health. 2007;7:168.

Kumari AS. Pregnancy outcome in women with morbid obesity. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2001;73(2):101-7.

Seligman LC, Duncan BB, Branchtein L, Gaio DS, Mengue SS, Schmidt MI. Obesity and gestational weight gain: cesarean delivery and labor complications. Rev Saude Publica. 2006;40:457-65.

Ehrenberg HM, Durnwald CP, Catalano P, Mercer BM. The influence of obesity and diabetes on the risk of caesarean delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;191:969-74.

Mazumder U, Sarker S, Riaz BK, Chowdhury TA. Maternal over weight and obesity: its effect on pregnancy outcome. Mymensingh Med J. 2011;20:213-8.

Galtier-Dereure F, Boegner C, Bringer J. Obesity and pregnancy: complications and cost. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000;71(5):1242S-1248s:4:989-97.

Oded Langer, Yogev Y, Most O, Xenakis EM. Gestational diabetes: The consequences of not treating. 2005;192(4):989-97.